What’s the best part about planning a trip? Shopping, packing, drawing itineraries, counting down to the D-Day – too many things come to mind. Now think about the worst part? We bet the only answer would be ‘expenditure’. Travelling is mostly about fun and spending precious time with family & friends, but all that comes at a price – and it is mostly quite steep. Whether you are planning a short getaway or a long, relaxing vacation – traveling does eat away your monthly budget. But there are always smart ways to cut some corners, and one of them is probably in your pockets right now! Yes, it is your credit card. 

Here are some ways you can use your plastic money to save on travel expenses:

Air miles

Almost every credit card company has tied up with different airlines to offer attractive air miles to its customers. If you are a frequent flier or regularly go on vacation, it is best to invest in a good air miles credit card. The way these cards work is that they offer you free air miles each time you make a purchase – for instance, you can up to two Etihad Guest miles for every $1 you spend with a select ABCD card. Save up enough of these air miles for a free ticket or upgrade during your next vacation!

Credit card rewards

Just like airlines, most hotels have loyalty programs that will pay rewards for your stays. While planning your trip, you should look up hotels that offer discounted rooms if you pay with your credit card. Most travel firms and websites offer huge discounts to credit card holders if they book hotels and airlines together. Fish for the best offer to maximize your savings. And not just hotels, you can book excursions and guided tours with credit cards and earn discounts on those too.

Lounge access 

One of the most exciting parts of being an airport is the premier lounges. Airport lounges offer ultimate hospitality to the travelers and most of us yearn to gain access to these areas while traveling. Many credit card firms offer free lounge access to their customers with LoungeKey programmes. Depending on the type of card you are carrying, you can gain free access to lounges in different parts of the globe, and in some cases, unlimited times a year! 

Free pick up and drop services

Airport transfers – be it pick up or drop-offs – are very expensive and can look burdensome under the travel expenditure column of your trip. Why not get these free with your credit cards. With 360-degree travel benefits, some premium credit cards include free pick up/drop services for a certain number of times a year. Depending on the credit card, you can either avail these services at a heavy discount or no charge at all.

Insurance cover

Travel insurance is something a lot of people opt for while flying out and can cost a fair amount of money. But certain credit cardholders can get free medical and personal insurance cover. Depending on the card, you can get free coverage for canceled trips, lost or delayed luggage, theft and accidents while traveling. Of course, the coverage benefits can only be availed if you use your credit card for the trip. 

Discounted car rentals

Most of us prefer renting out cars for greater flexibility while traveling in a new city. With car rental costs shooting up these days, it’s always wiser to avail discounts using credit cards. Credit cardholders can redeem rewards with a rental booking or avail discounts and upgrades with premium rental car benefits. Depending on your card, you can also avail rental insurance. 

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